Practical Spirituality

Visualizing Nature

With summer weather at hand (most of the time), now is a
wonderful season to practice drawing upon our natural connection to nature.
Many people have heard of “affirmations:” the intentional use of positive
thoughts and positive self-statements to help trigger a larger lasting change
in self-talk (how we talk to ourselves in our minds) and self-healing (how we
think and feel about ourselves). I have found that a similar practice can be
done with the natural elements. It’s a practice that I call, “Evocative
Visualization.” Spiritual traditions have been teaching practices like this for

In its simplest form, you would go to a place in nature or
take a moment to find a specific element in nature that you naturally and
intuitively connect to. It could be a view of a lake, a park, a flower, a
cloud, the sun, a bird, a rock – anything absolutely natural and naturally
attractive or healing for you. Then close your eyes a moment and do some deep

Try a gentle breath in and out through the nose for a minute
or two. Concentrate only on how soft , quiet and gentle your breath can be.
You’ll feel yourself relax and your mind slow down. Then open your eyes and
only focus on the object that you want to “draw” healing energy from. Study it,
connect with it emotionally, take your time.

Close your eyes again and silently imagine you are talking
to it, or welcoming its energy into your experience – imagine you are drawing
this life force into your body, in to your mind, your heart, imagine its energy
is filling you and merging with your energy. Rather than thinking you are
draining its energy, think of it as “sharing” its limitless power. Imagine you
can feel it within you. Imagine what it would be like to have that same life
force inside you. You might even picture the energy flowing into you.

Your evocative visualization might silently sound to
yourself like, “I am drawing the light of the sun into my body. I feel the
endless energy and power within me. I am a shining light, filled with the solar
force.” Another example might be, “I am connected to this great stone. I am
solid as this stone, centered and patient as this stone. It keeps me strong and
I can face what is unfolding; this ancient endurance is my endurance.” While
you think these things, create images and feelings to support your process.

If you consistently return to one object of focus again and
again, you will eventually move from pretending that you are drawing on its
energy and connection, to actually feeling and becoming aware of your profound
shared energy and connection.

Take a moment in the next few days to find your local
“source of natural energy” and commit to an evocative visualization. Commit to
the exercise everyday for a week and see what you notice. 

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